<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Page: 2
 

Viewing the 'House Mortgage' Category

Maybe It's Silly, But...

February 10th, 2013 at 05:57 pm

Sometimes I worry that I will be at loose ends once the credit card debt is gone. I mean we've been in it for almost ten years. And I've been working hard to get out of it since I started blogging in April of 2006. There were ups and downs along the way as we added to and subtracted from the debt, but more or less it's gone steadily down.

And in a few days it will be gone. It's just been such a big part of my life for so long. I've had this goal, this huge, challenging goal that frankly, at times, I thought I was never going to meet. But now I am about to. And it's leaving me with an unsettled feeling, like maybe I won't be firmly focused and driven anymore.

I've got other goals, of course I do. There's college and there's the Emergency Fund and there's the van loan and the mortgage. But somehow I just don't feel as pumped about those things. Take the van loan for example. It's a lot and it's got a pretty low interest rate, but it feels "okay" because when I look out the window it's sitting there. It's tangible. And it doesn't bother me in the same way credit card debt does.

Maybe that's because credit card debt is so intangible. You are paying for the past, sometimes for stuff you don't even remember you charged. Okay, and I have scars on my body that remind of each and every medical procedure I went through, but that's it. The meals out, and hotel fees, and all the things we did to help the family get by while I was recovering, I can't see those as tangible. So I hated having it, this debt that seemed like it gave us no value after the original purchase. The van does give us value still and will for many, many years to come.

Maybe I just need to adjust my focus and make that seem as big a deal as the credit cards did? It's hard though. I mean how do you change that if it's ingrained like this? And with the mortgage, well, I dislike it, and it's so close to being paid off, but when the house sells it will be paid off and then we'll start all over again with a new house and a new mortgage, so how hard, really should I try to work on it.

College is a bit easier. DD is a junior and we need to save $7000 for her first year and $7000 for her second year at the local community college. I can see that as a tangible goal now. And if she follows the plan and joins the peace corp after the first two years before coming back to finish at the local university with a $7000 scholarship, we'll have plenty of time to save up for her third and fourth years and DS's first year at CC.

Investing in their educations seems both tangible and intangible at the same time. I don't want them saddled with debt, but at the same time part of me is wishing college weren't so darn expensive. Part of me is not wanting to decide between funding retirement and starting the kids off on the best financial footing we can. I just hope jobs are more available then, because right now I don't know if they'll even be able to work to help pay for school.

The Emergency Fund is what I really need to worry about the most though. I want it at $18,000 by the time we hit 2015. I want it double that by 2017. And sooner or later, we really need to start putting money into the 401K. DH's work doesn't match at all so part of me has wondered if it is even worth it. I suppose for the pre-tax dollars, but maybe it would be better to just save on our own. I worry about the stock market crashing again just as we get back into it.

The economy worries me. They fiddle with numbers so much to try to say things are better than they are, they print money that isn't backed by anything, and they say it's getting better out there, but all I'm seeing is people that have run out of their unemployment so they are no longer counted as jobless, but they still are. The lines at the food bank stretch longer and longer every week (it's near my daughter's school so I drive by it frequently). Food prices are higher, gas prices are higher, interest rates drop lower and lower on savings. Maybe I just think too darn much.

Maybe in another week I can refocus myself, figure out which things are really the most important. All I know for sure is that I don't want to start frittering our money away.

Tax Refund and Old House Stuff

February 10th, 2013 at 03:17 pm

DH just sent me a thing that said our tax refund should be transferred to our credit union on the 13th. DH sent it in on the 3rd, so ten days. That's fast. And not long to wait, just 3 more days. Of course I already paid the Chase bill on Friday, bringing the balance there down to $5000. I did set up an online account with them, so I could pay it off right away, or since there is no interest being charged on that account until July, I could dump it into ING until the next statement comes or even collect the interest through June.

No, I dont think I have the patience for that. I just want to be done with all of the credit card debt. Can you imagine? After all these years, in less than a week, we will no longer have any credit card debt. I am excited about that. It took 10 years of concentrated effort since the first of seven surgeries. Now we are almost there.

And the rest of the money will be sitting in ING for a while. I won't be getting DD her MacBook until August. And I will decide what to do with the rest of the money when we get back from Disneyland in March in case we go over budget. Then definitely some to the EF, maybe $1000.

And maybe buy 1/4 of a beef from the ranch. We can order in March for August delivery. There's also a local place I'd like to look into that does pasture-raised chickens. I would probably order 20. It's a big upfront cost, but I'll be able to drop my grocery bill to around $200 a month accordingly for milk, produce, baking supplies, and wild caught fish. And I could save the difference for the next beef.

I know that we can fit 1/4 of a beef (about 105 pounds) into our small chest freezer if we empty it, and 20 whole chickens would fit in our beneath the fridge freezer and on the one shelf in the big freezer of Mom's that she lets me use. I still want to buy a larger chest freezer, but not until after we move. Since I used the money for the freezer to pay off debt, I'll need to start saving for it again.

I guess after the last card is paid off I'll start throwing some money at the mortgage. I'd like to get it down to $10K left. I can probably do that before it actually goes on the market. After a lot of work on the house this weekend, it's now looking like May before they'll be done. Honestly, it didn't feel like so much needed to be done or fixed when we lived there. We had to pull out the carpet and the pad. They had stapled the pad to the floor every six inches. It took some doing to get it up. And under the pad was linoleum, stapled along the edges, not adhered down anywhere, and the edges were hidden by moulding. I don't even...

I will never buy that type of house again. Too many shortcuts and too much shoddy workmanship, too much rampant stupidity on the part of the builders as well as the previous owners. Cosmetically it looked fine, but take off the makeup and I'm not sure how it ever passed an inspection.

Hopefully soon it will be someone else's problem.

I Need a New Doctor

January 19th, 2013 at 03:20 pm

I think I may have mentioned this already, but my doctor retired after saying he wasn't going to and now I need to find a new one. The main doctors' collective in town put me on a waiting list because apparently they can only schedule through February and they are booked. I'm totally thinking they need to improve their software, or go back to an old-fashioned doctor's appointment book.

But I did find another organization in town that takes our insurance and DH gave me a list of the doctors there that are open for new patients, and ten of them are female, so I am going to spend a lot of time on the phone on Monday (or Tuesday if they are closed for the holiday) and see if I can't get an appointment in the next 30 days instead. I hope so, because my BP meds run out on March 1 and my new cholesterol medicine runs out on February 22, and I can't even get a hold of my old doctor to add refills until I can find a new one. I'm more concerned about the BP med than the other.

If I have to I will go to the walk in clinic, bring my prescription bottle, see a doctor and explain the situation and at least get enough BP meds to last through March.

----------

I am trying not to get impatient waiting for Experian to update its stuff. It has about $16,000 worth of paid off stuff still listed. Usually it's updated mid-month, but for some reason they haven't updated it since December 7. We have a monitoring service because of theft years ago. I am just impatient. I want to see how all this payoff is going to affect our credit score. I hope they update it in February.

----------

I have decided to stop wavering and go ahead with paying off the 0% Chase bill next instead of the mortgage. I have also decided to stop sending extra to the mortgage. The extra $193.16 I've been sending each month will replace some of the wiggle room that the higher social security taxes took away. That was a hard decision to make, but I am feeling pinched right now trying to meet all goals with that money missing from our income. And I don't like feeling pinched as it tends to make me resentful and want to go waste money on something. I may revisit that in a month or two, but for now I will just make the regular payment.

I've Been Thinking--Mortgage vs. Final Card

January 18th, 2013 at 01:46 pm

Do you think it would make more sense to me to try to pay off the mortgage quickly or to pay off the 0% interest credit card? The plan has been to pay off the card, but I ran the numbers and if I used the money I had planned to use for the Chase card and continued to pay minimum payments on it and instead threw that at the mortgage, I could have the mortgage paid off by the end of June.

The Chase card is at 0% through the end of 2013. Acutally I think it is until January 2014. And then with no mortgage to pay as well as all the extra money we were throwing at it, we will be able to have that credit card paid off by the end of the year, while it is still at 0%.

Part of my hesitation is psychological. For so long my goal has been to pay off the credit cards. It's been my number one priority. I am not naive enough to believe our house will sell quickly once it goes on the market in spring. So it seems like it would make things a lot easier if it is paid off when it sells, one less round of paperwork. Plus the mortgage is at 5.5%. So it seems silly to not take care of it first.

No matter which way I do it, they'll both be paid off by the end of the year. How do I get past these psychological barriers? Common sense me, people.

Payments Hit and Homeschool Stuff

January 4th, 2013 at 12:01 pm

The BoA payment I made yesterday posted. DH's hotel for his trip up, travel food, and our gym membership hit today, so the new balance is up a bit from what I said yesterday to $5,610.74.

The mortgage payment posted this morning. I made a payment of $570. Of that $68.51 went to interest and the rest to principal. The new mortgage balance is $14,446.84. My goal for February is to bring that under $14K. I am trying to pay off $500 worth of principal each month right now. I will reassess my mortgage goals after the credit card debt is paid off and I know what is going on with paychecks with the new tax laws.

Homeschool went okay yesterday, it just took forever. Although I understood the math right away (totally new concept to me) it took DS longer to cotton on to it. We are doing rays and angles and line segments, and defining whether the measured angle pairs are complimentary or supplementary or neither. The lesson ended up taking 90 minutes instead of the usual hour.

Then history took a lot longer than usual. Sometimes the curriculum splits stuff up in really stupid ways. Wednesday's history only took a half an hour while yesterday's took 90 minutes. If they divided it up better it would come to an hour a day. One day you are reading 3 pages in the history book and the next day you are reading two chapters.

It wouldn't be so bad, but we started The Secret Garden yesterday. Normally literature lessons consist of one short story or 3 or 4 poems that are read and then questions are answered about plot and character development or in the case of poems, analyzed. But when he needs to do actual books, which happens twice a semester, they divide it into ten lessons, no matter how long the book is. So he ends up reading 30 to 40 pages a day for that which wouldn't take too long, except it is using regional dialect.

Now I personally hate dialect in books. It's a pet peeve of mine. It's overdone and it makes things difficult to read. It's enough to say, hey, these people are from Yorkshire, they talk a little different and maybe give a bit of the flavor of it, but not pound the reader over the head with it. On top of that it also is using old-fashioned language so things like thyself instead of yourself are used. But when you use dialect, it's thysen instead of theyself, or youn'un instead of young one. Then a ton of questions afterwards so literature is ending up taking way, way too long.

Now all that would be fine in high school, but this is 7nth grade. We were already at 5 hours for the day with only those 3 subjects. Add on top of that grammar and usage, vocabulary, composition and either art or science, plus 20 minutes a day for PE and we were at around 8 hours and school is only supposed to take 5 and a half hours per day. We were both cranky by the time we finished.

I ended up reserving the unabridged book on CD. I'm going to allow DS to read along with the CD instead so that he isn't struggling with dialect and old-fashioned language and we can get through it faster. Fortunately the library had it in so I can just go down and pick it up today.

Hopefully today will go better. We haven't started yet as DS didn't sleep last night and I let him sleep in. I think he's coming down with what DD has. *sighs* Me, too, maybe as I didn't sleep all that well either. Well, I was well for a whole week. That's better than nothing.

End of Year Financial Housekeeping--Debt Paid Off in 2012

December 31st, 2012 at 01:44 am

Well, it's nowhere near the $57,010.88 of principal debt we paid off in 2011, but that had extenuating circumstances. I still think we did a good job with paying off over $21K of principal in 2012.

$18,544.28 Mortgage Amount as of 12/31/11
-14,948.33 Mortgage Amount as of 12/31/12
-----------------
$__3,595.95 Amount Paid Off in 2012

$20,228.79 Amount of Credit Card Debt as of 12/31/11
$12,514.07 Amount of Credit Card Debt as of 12/31/12
-------------------
$-7,714.72 Amount Paid Off in 2012

$87,000 Amount Owed to Mom as of 12/31/11
-77,000 Amount Owed to Mom as of 12/31/12
--------------------
$10,000 Amount Paid Off in 2012

So I paid off a total of $21,310.67 in principal this year. I have no idea what I paid in interest, but it was a lot. I have $104,462.40 left to go. All but $5200 of the credit card debt will be paid off by the end of January. That will leave me with a 0% loan from Mom, a 0% $5200 credit card debt (well, $5100 since I will pay off $100 of that in January), and the mortgage which is currently just under $15K.

As usual I am not including the car loan. I never have included car loans. Probably because if we had to sell it and not have one it wouldn't affect our bottom line. We barely drive as it is. We have 12,000 miles on our car and it is a 2010 and probably 4000 of that was on driving vacations, which again, could be easily cut without affecting our bottom line. I may put it up there after everything else is paid off, but I consider it more or less a fixed expense. It's at 1.9%.

Mom still wants the steady $1000 a month so she has a steady income stream to go with her social security check and can put a little in the bank for emergencies, so she doesn't want us paying it off early. So that is another 6 years and 4 months worth of payments to go. This will be the first year where we shouldn't have to take a month or two off from paying her back, due to high medical bills.

We also paid a little over $12,500 in medical expenses out of pocket, $6500 (the HSA amount) of which we will get back on our tax refund.

By the end of March or April (depending on whether or not taxes will be refunded promptly) I can pay off the last of the CC debt. And then just deal with the mortgage, the car loan, and Mom. So two secured debts and no unsecured debts. Well, I suppose technically the loan from Mom is unsecured, but she's my mother and there is no way on God's green earth that I will not pay her back. So that loan is very secure, so to speak.

So I will be focusing on the mortgage and the EF after CC's are gone. I'd like to get that finished off by the end of 2013 unless we manage to sell it. We should be able to do that with no credit card debt left. Also will be building the college fund.

Credit Card Payoff and Disneyland Planning

December 26th, 2012 at 03:24 pm

I've run the numbers to see exactly how I will pay off the BoA VISA in the month of January. I will be using the money in the freezer fund to help with this, so:

$2000 on January 4th--$1000, from the freezer fund and $1000 from the extra money set aside for January that I don't need now that the AMEX has been paid off.

$2000 out of the January 11th paycheck.

$2000 out of the January 18th paycheck.

$2000 out of the January 25th paycheck.

That will pay it off even with DH charging a new plane ticket, travel food, and motel cost for his overnight stay in Anchorage.

In February I will need to take $1252 along with the money I have saved in the vacation fund, $400, to buy 7 parkhopper tickets for Disneyland/California Adventure for our planned March trip. So while there will be some debt repayment to the last card, the Chase card, it will be closer to $500 for this month, I think.

When we get our taxes back, it should be close to what we got back last year, which was $8,425. Most of this was caused by deducting the entire HSA amount since we spent so much on medical. The same will be true this year. DH's income should be about the same, maybe off by a few hundred dollars.

About $3000 of that money will go towards Disneyland. The condo is free, the airfare was mostly free, and what wasn't was taken care of a few months ago. That probably seems like a lot of money, but I am overbudgeting to be on the safe side. We will be renting a limo to get us to and from the airport. It actually turns out to be cheaper to do that than to divide seven people and their luggage between two cars.

The only cheaper option is to take one of those buses that stops at every single hotel near Disneyland (and yours is always the last one), but those are always so full you never get to sit with your family and with four children, two of which have anxiety issues, that is not an option. The nine passenger van doesn't have enough room for us and our luggage.

Once we have settled into the condo DH and I will leave SIL with the kids and take a taxi to the nearby Von's to do some grocery shopping. We plan on eating breakfast at the condo and most of our dinners, then purchasing lunch in the park. It will cut food costs substantially.

DH and I have determined to buy everyone one sweatshirt, one t-shirt, a Splash Mountain or Grizzly River Run beach towel and one set of mouse ears as souvenirs. Also autograph books and pens for the kids.

We will need to rent two motel rooms for the night in Seattle before we fly and we will also need to pay for airport parking of two cars when we get back. Also one meal at the airport at least.

Plans for what is left of our tax return after Disney money is taken out is to put $1500 in the Emergency Fund and $3500 towards Chase. I will have an additional $500 from March's pay cycle to pay off Chase completely.

And at that point we will start saving and building the EF and paying down the mortgage which will be under $14K at that point. Currently $1000 is going towards principal every 2 months, so I'd like to make that $1000 towards principal every month until it is either paid off or the house sells. I will also be trying to save $1000 each month for college and will ear mark the tax refund after this one to college savings as well.

3 months and the future begins, unfettered by the credit card debt of years. At least as long as Murphy keeps to himself and all goes well.

Happy Dancing!!!!

December 1st, 2012 at 04:51 am

And the mortgage payment posted. We are officially under $15K. $14,948.33 to be exact. Woo Hoo!

Interest was $70.48 and the rest of the $500 went on principal. I am going to try to pay off $500 worth of principal from now on each month, so that will make each payment about $570 to do that. I just really like the idea of paying off $1000 every two months. That leaves about 2.5 years left on the loan, but I hope we will sell it before then. Or I'll just pay more once all the credit card debt is gone.

Next payday I will have $1000 to send to BoA and then the payday after that will have another $1000 to send them. And when the Christmas Bonus comes, that sucker is gone, baby!